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The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851   By:

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Of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. II. NEW YORK, JANUARY 1, 1851. No. II.

Transcriber's note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of the article.



Edmund Burke is the most illustrious name in the political history of England. The exploits of Marlborough are forgotten, as Wellington's will be, while the wisdom and genius of Burke live in the memory, and form a portion of the virtue and intelligence of the British nation and the British race. The reflection of this superior power and permanence of moral grandeur over that which, at best, is but a vulgar renown, justifies the most sanguine expectations of humanity.

It may be said of Burke, as it was said by him of another, that "his mind was generous, open, sincere; his manners plain, simple, and noble; rejecting all sorts of duplicity and disguise, as useless to his designs, and odious to his nature. His understanding was comprehensive, steady, and vigorous, made for the practical business of the state.... His knowledge, in all things which concerned his duty was profound.... He was not more respectable on the public scene, than amiable in private life.... A husband and a father, the kindest, gentlest, most indulgent, he was every thing in his family, except what he gave up to his country.... An ornament and blessing to the age in which he lived, his memory will continue to be beneficial to mankind, by holding forth an example of pure and unaffected virtue, most worthy of imitation, to the latest posterity."

In the last of a series of articles by Mrs. S. C. Hall, entitled "Pilgrimages to English Shrines," and published in the London Art Journal , we have an account of a visit to the residences and to the grave of Burke, which we reproduce in the following pages, with its interesting illustrations.


It has been said that we are inclined to over value great men when their graves have been long green, or their monuments gray above them, but we believe it is only then we estimate them as they deserve. Prejudice and falsehood have no enduring vitality, and posterity is generally anxious to render justice to the mighty dead; we dwell upon their actions, we quote their sentiments and opinions, we class them amongst our household gods and keep their memories green within the sanctuary of our HOMES; we read to our children and friends the written treasures bequeathed to us by the genius and independence of the great statesmen and orators the men of literature and science who " have been ." We adorn our minds with the poetry of the past, and value it, as well we may, as far superior to that of the present: we sometimes, by the aid of imagination one of the highest of God's gifts bring great men before us: we hear the deep toned voices and see the flashing eyes of some, who, it may be, taught kings their duty, or quelled the tumults of a factious people: we listen to the lay of the minstrel, or the orator's addresses to the assembly, and our pulses throb and our eyes moisten as the eloquence flows first, as a gentle river, until gaining strength in its progress, it sweeps onwards like a torrent, overcoming all that sought to impede its progress. What a happy power this is! what a glorious triumph over time! recalling or creating at will! peopling our small chamber with the demigods of history; viewing them enshrined in their perfections, untainted by the world; hearing their exalted sentiments; knowing them as we know a noble statue or a beautiful picture, without the taint of age or feebleness, or the mildew of decay.

If these sweet wakening dreams were more frequent, we should be happier; yes, and better than we are; we should be shamed out of much baseness for nothing so purifies and exalts the soul as the actual or imaginary companionship of the pure and exalted; no man who purposed to create a noble picture would choose an imperfect model; no one who seeks virtue and cherishes honor and honorable things, will endure the degradation of ignoble persons or ignoble thoughts; no one ever achieved a great purpose who did not plant his standard on high ground... Continue reading book >>

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